Nigeria @ 55: The Good, Bad And Ugly | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nigeria @ 55: The Good, Bad And Ugly

Posted: Oct 6, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Ajibola Taiwo

In the past 55 years of Nigeria’s existence as a nation, the singular achievement of 16 years of continuous democratic rule stands out as a beacon of hope. It is a well known fact that the vast mineral, human and geographic advantage which Mother Nature bestowed has been underutilized. Therefore, we must not cease to evaluate how far we have come as an entity.

A general consensus that government could be better run led to a large turnout of the electorates in the last 2015 general election. Indeed, democracy in Nigeria has grown in leaps and bounds in recent years due to more transparent electoral process, while improved access to information blossomed into citizens’ awareness and the desire to play their part in building the nation of their dreams.

Furthermore, there has been a renaissance among youths as they now clamour to make their voices heard by the government. Access to internet and technological advancements have made it easy for government to feel the pulse of the masses on matters bothering them.

With the crash in oil prices, the reality of the folly of a mono-direction economy has dawned on Nigeria. Rhetorics on how to diversify the economy are being reviewed in a bid to wean the nation of its total dependence on oil to the detriment of other sectors.

It is not a gainsaying the fact that corruptions has really eaten deep into the country because the wealth of this nation have been mismanaged and hijacked by some callous and greedy leaders who doesn’t have the fear God. But thank be to God for the new era of accountability in governance. In all sectors, erstwhile ‘sacred cows’ are discovering that ‘all animals are equal’.

While these and many more reflect that Nigeria as a nation is not stagnant, it would be a fallacy to assert that all is rosy. Falling oil prices have triggered the fall of the naira against other currencies, as it has also affected the economy negatively.

Unemployment is still a major challenge as our institutions annually churn out more labour than available market can accommodate. Information from the National Bureau of Statistics stated that 54 percent of Nigerian youths are unemployed in 2012, as opposed to 80 percent rate in 2014.

The education system is in a sorry state as obsolete curriculum has not been updated to reflect the needs of the times. Research and Development has been underfunded and underexploited as a fundamental element for growth in our education system.

Insecurity is still rife in the country. Public safety has become a mirage. Boko haram now threatens with impunity.  Security operative are not left out as some of their men shoot unlawfully due to 20 or 50 naira while many citizens could not sleep with their two eye closed. More so, kidnappings has become a lucrative business where foreigners, locals, elderly and even minors are not spared.

Inadequate infrastructure is another major challenge in Nigeria. The importance of energy to the industrialization drive of any nation can not be overemphasized. The inadequacy and non effectiveness of this sector is the reason most cottage industries in Nigeria die in infancy. Roads and railway networks are not well maintained and javelin have witnesseed no new development in recent times, making transportation across the country an endurance test.

However, as Nigerians wait patiently for the change promised by  Buhari led administration, we all have role to play so as to collectively bring back the lost glory of the Nation.  In all these, we should not throw away the baby with the bath water.

Also, wealthy Nigerians should endeavour to assist the less privilege and the poor with their wealth rather than keeping them in foreign accounts.

In order for this country to develop, breaching of laws by well meaning Nigerians and  political office holders should be addressed including godfatherism and general disorderliness .

Tribalism and ethnic divides should not be allowed to hamper our development as a nation because  government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility of redeeming  the image of this nation. Each individual must also be an ambassador of their own rights.

Let us all join hands to build Nigeria of our dream.